Grab your slow cooker and just four ingredients, and get ready to dig into these ultra tender and flavorful slow cooker chicken thighs! Cooking chicken thighs in the crock pot makes them absolutely delicious, with hardly any work at all!
Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Recipe
These crock pot chicken thighs are a go-to dinner recipe! They always turn out so juicy, tender and flavorful. Chicken may take the first place spot as my favorite food, so I’m always looking for new and easy ways to cook it.
Slow cooker recipes are great because it takes my mind off of planning dinner on busy weeknights. I can just dump simple ingredients into the crock pot, and then make an easy side dish like air fryer baby carrots just before serving dinner.
The whole family will love these delicious keto crockpot chicken thighs. It’s the perfect dish for a simple weeknight meal but is tasty enough that you can even serve it when you’re hosting guests! And when you’re ready to serve, you cann shred chicken and eat it a variety of different ways or just eat a whole flavorful chicken thighs.
If you need a tried and true slow cooker chicken thighs recipe, this easy dish is gonna be your best friend. Plus, it is keto and a perfect way to get high serving of protein in your evening meal. Clean-up is a snap and you can easily save leftovers for later.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to making this easy keto slow cooker chicken thighs!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
It’s no secret I love bbq chicken! In the warm weather I love to grill up some bbq chicken drumsticks, but my favorite way to cook chicken thighs? In the crock pot!
When you slow cook your chicken thighs using this method, they’re
- So easy to make, even the most novice of cooks in the kitchen will have success with this recipe.
- Fall-apart tender and super moist — you’ll never have dry chicken again!
- Full of rich bbq flavor, which is a must in my book.
Best of all, you only need four ingredients, and it can be customized to your dietary preferences! That means whether you’re following a keto diet, Whole30, or any other way of eating, you can make this recipe work for you.
Here is what you’ll need to grab at the grocery store to make this easy chicken recipe:
- chicken thighs: Use bone-in thighs with the skin-on for the most flavor. You can totally substitute boneless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breast if you prefer. Just simply adjust the cook time a bit (the instructions are included below!).
- BBQ sauce: Use any bbq sauce brand you enjoy, or use my homemade Whole30 BBQ Sauce recipe.
- onion: The onion adds a bit of flavor and texture that perfectly compliments the tender chicken.
- BBQ spices, optional: For extra bbq flavor and oomph, sprinkle in some of my homemade bbq spice blend.
Substitutions and Variations
You can customize the recipe to suit your dietary restrictions. If following Whole30, use a compatible bbq sauce. If you’re following Keto/Low Carb, use a brand made without sugar. There are plenty of delicious choices out there now.
To make it a complete meal, add 1-2 pounds of baby potatoes right into the slow cooker. You can cook two things at once, as long as you don’t totally overcrowd the crock pot!
Season up your chicken with anything you want. Onion powder, garlic powder, fresh garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley are some of my favorite options. You can use a spice mix too!
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
Add the sliced onion and bone-in chicken thighs to the slow cooker. Then season the raw chicken with the bbq spices and spoon the bbq sauce on top.
Cover and cook chicken on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 6-6.5 hours. Once the chicken is fall apart tender (test it by trying to cut it with a fork), it’s ready! As an added bonus, your house smells fantastic at this point.
Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the cooked chicken thighs and serve immediately with some of the liquid from the crock pot spooned on top of the chicken thighs.
You can turn the slow cooker to the “Keep Warm” function for up to an hour, until you’re ready to eat it. The chicken will continue to very slowly cook even on this setting, so I don’t recommend using it for longer than an hour.
As an extra, optional, step, you can use the broiler to crisp up the skin on the chicken thighs. Preheat your broiler and set the chicken on a lined baking sheet. Then place it on an oven rack 3-5 inches beneath the broiler. Turn the broiler on low and let skin crisp for 3-4 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
I like to serve this juicy chicken with any simple side dish. Sweet potatoes, pickled onions, spaghetti squash, pineapple slaw, and broccoli slaw, are some of my favorites. And if you want something I little more reminiscent of junk food, these sweet potato fries are amazing.
You could also stick with some keto sides like cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower. This one-pot meal pairs well with simple veggies like air fryer roasted green beans or easy air fryer broccoli too.
This BBQ chicken can also be shredded and then served on buns, over rice, and even over lettuce!
How to Store Leftover Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
To store leftover chicken thighs, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 months as well. Allow to thaw before reheating.
To reheat, place in the oven until the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature.
Tips for Success
- When reheating leftover chicken, add a splash of chicken broth or chicken stock into the pan to keep the chicken from drying out.
- For boneless chicken breasts or thighs, follow the same instructions but keep an eye on it close to end of cook time so as not to overcook the meat. In the slow cooker, chicken breasts should cook for about 3-4 hours on high or 5.5-6 hours on low.
- Don’t overcrowd your slow cooker if you choose to double or triple this recipe. A crock pot that is too full will not evenly cook the chicken.
To cook in the Instant Pot:
1. Add the chicken, bbq sauce, onions, bbq spices, AND 1/4-1/2 cup of water to your Instant Pot. Close the lid and set it to High Pressure to cook for 15 minutes.
2. Allow a Manual Pressure Release for 10 minutes, then turn or press the steam release valve for a Quick Pressure Release.
Yes! To make oven baked bbq chicken thighs, place the seasoned chicken thighs in a baking dish and cook in a preheated 400°F (204°C) oven. Cook for 25 minutes, then brush the chicken generously with bbq sauce. Return to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
- 2.5 lb chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on, about 6-7 thighs
- 1 cup bbq sauce
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 Tablespoon bbq seasoning optional
- Close the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 3.5-4 hours or low for 5.5-6.5 hours, until the chicken is tender.
- Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the cooked chicken thighs and serve immediately with some of the liquid and onions from the crock pot spooned on top.
- Optional Step: If you like crispy skin, preheat your broiler. Set the chicken thighs on a parchment lined baking sheet, and place it on an oven rack 3-5 inches beneath the broiler. Allow it to crisp up the skin a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning.